June 14, 2001
RAND JERRIS: 4 birdies, and 3 bogeys, opening round of 69. Hoping you could give us some general comments to start off on your round today.
LOREN ROBERTS: It just feels good to play good for a while. I played so bad for the last few months. It feels good to put a round up that's a good round. I enjoyed playing with Hale today. He's always been one of my favorite players to play with, and we had a good time out there, and I enjoyed watching him play.
Q. Did Hale have any effect on your good play, then, if you've been struggling, today you played well, you seem to feel comfortable with it, was that a factor?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, I've been working a lot of things on my golf swing, and this week I got here and I've got to forget about it, and just go out and swing the club back and try to hit it hard and that's it. And my mind was pretty unencumbered today, and I hit a lot of solid shots. And I think -- it helped me just the fact that I like Hale, and I felt comfortable out there.
Q. Loren, all of us know you're known as a great putter, that these greens are very, very tough to putt. How was your putting today and do you like these greens and your chances?
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I like the greens, there's a lot of slope to them, you have to have a lot of imagination, and that's what I like. You can hit it 10 feet all day, and not necessarily have too many makable putts. So the greens are such good shape, I think probably the best condition Open greens I've seen in a long, long time. You hit a putt, you get it on line, it's going to go in the hole. But there is a lot of slope to them. So I was able to see the line good today and made a lot of good putts.
Q. They say this course is made for long hitters, and the second part, what club did you hit on No. 10?
LOREN ROBERTS: On the 10th hole? I cut a 3-wood down around the corner and had like 92 yards to the flag. I think this golf course sets up good for anybody. You don't have to hit the ball a long ways out here, it's playing long and fast. Most of the fairways turn at about the 260, 280 range. So I don't think it favors any one particular player, and I think you're going to see that I think reflected in the scores today, and I think you have already.
Q. I had the same question, just whether the way the course is playing helps the short hitters, and that helped your game and Hale's game?
LOREN ROBERTS: I think it helps the control player. Obviously, you've got to put the ball in the fairway, here. I think I only missed maybe two fairways off the tee today. So I was able to get the ball on the green or around the green, or at least where I could get the ball up-and-down. And I think this golf course is a golf course that is very fair for everybody in the field. You can be a shorter control player or a longer player, and still be able to play this course.
Q. Loren, I wonder your thoughts, they say some really bad weather is on the way, and they maybe will have to pull players off the course. I wonder your thoughts about being in with that minus one and not have to worry about either going back or whether you think, if the players are able to play, the greens will soften up a little and they may have an advantage, your thoughts?
LOREN ROBERTS: It's so early in the week you never know what's going to happen. All I know is I'm going to get to sleep in a little bit tomorrow. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.
RAND JERRIS: Could you run through your birdies and bogeys.
LOREN ROBERTS: I started out today on the second hole, I hit a good, for me a really good 4-iron, about five feet from the hole today and made that for birdie and kind of got me started. And a real key was I got aggressive at 4 and hit it over the green in the back fringe. And I hit a great chip shot to keep it about 25 feet below the hole, and I made that for par. I bogeyed the 5th hole. But then I hit a good 7-iron at 5, par-3, to about 6 feet and made that for birdie. And then I made a really good up-and-down on the front right bunker for bogey on 7, after driving it in the left hand trees. I drove it way deep in the left hand trees. And then hit about 6 feet at 10 and made birdie. Then just pin-high right at 13 and a good chip shot down about 8 feet and made that for birdie. And really the hole that I really played poorly was the 15th. I drove it perfect, I had a 7-iron in my hand and put it in the bunker and couldn't get up-and-down and made a bogey there. And then just knocked it in the back fringe and made a par. On 16 a couple of good two putts coming in from about 18 feet on 17. And I 2-putted from the middle left on the 18th green from about 40 feet. I was a much better ball striker around the back nine than I was in the front.
Q. What is it about Hale that makes him such a good player at his age in this championship?
LOREN ROBERTS: He's a control player, and this golf course lends itself to someone who keeps the ball in control. He putted extremely well today. I would say that's what you've got to do. But he had some great iron shots. He hit a 2-iron, kind of around and under the tree there at 18 today and hit it a foot from the hole. He hit some great shots and made some great putts. But I think if you look at Hale, he's had a long career and he's never been injured, he's always taken care of himself and it's one of those things that you like to say he's genetically blessed.
Q. This is about you. You're known as an exceptional putter. Does this round now make you feel better about your chances here?
LOREN ROBERTS: There's only one down and three to go for me, and there's still some guys that haven't teed off yet. I'm just going to keep playing golf. I'll be 46 years old next week, I'm just out here playing, having fun, and that's all I want to keep doing.
RAND JERRIS: Well, Loren, thanks very much for joining us today and good luck the rest of the week.
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